Smart is Beautiful, or the Aesthetics of a Connected Vehicle Experience

By Neno

At this year’s Festival de l’Automobile International (FAI), the contenders for the “Creativ’ Experience” award showed impressive new ways to bring harmony, style and passion to the interfaces of the connected, intelligent vehicle.

Scene

Festival de l'Automobile International

In the 29th edition of the renowned FAI many of today´s automotive design leaders had their latest innovations on the catwalk – in front of the magnificent scenery of the Hôtel National des Invalides in the heart of Paris.

As every year, prestigious awards were waiting to honour outstanding design achievements in categories like the most beautiful car, the most beautiful interior or for achievements for the environment.

Scope

2014 Festival de l'Automobile International - all winners on stage

Dassault Systèmes, a many-year partner of this venue, last year introduced a second “Grand Prix” award for companies doing significant research optimizing the user experience of driving an intelligent car, including the user experience of connecting with its surrounding world. Industry professionals call this approach “creative experience”.

Solutions

Anne Asensio and Pierre Marchadier on FAI 2014 stage

It should be no surprise that most contenders presented solutions around the Human-Machine-Interface. While it looks simple to get information to the car and back to the external world, we find that many user concepts today overstrain drivers who – in contrast to a smartphone user – must not be distracted from driving at any time. In that respect, all present OEMs showed impressive achievements that make functional complexity more simple and safe to use. At the same time, the user interfaces become more intuitive, aesthetic and compelling to explore. Here are some examples we saw at the FAI:

BMW i App

BMW has designed an amazing digital navigation environment integrating the smartphone and cockpit interfaces that invite drivers to discover the many new benefits from electric mobility, and at the same time master the range limitation with multi-modal mobility solutions – that’s cool!

Nissan NISMO watch

NISSAN brings “lifeblood into the driving experience”: NISMO, a beautifully designed arm-watch integrates body data like blood pressure with vehicle information to generate entirely new statistics about driving behaviour.

Amongst such a fabulous competition, it was not an easy win for AUDI, who took the award of the “Creativ’ Experience”, yet a well deserved one for sure: Their “eKurzinfo”, which is a dynamic electronic user manual for the new A3 model, creates an unprecedented user experience: Augmented Reality is helping to discover vehicle functions with handheld devices. Users are provided with an instant and intuitive way to get to know their A3, simply using a marvelously designed app for mobile devices. The jury was impressed how AUDI realised such a smart and seamless digital continuity to ignite emotion and comfort in discovering vehicle functions. Audi A3 users for sure will appreciate this experience too.

AUDI eKurzinfo 01AUDI eKurzinfo 02
AUDI eKurzinfo 03
AUDI eKurzinfo 04

Seeking perfection

These are all brilliant achievements in a moment of time. But how can designers keep up with the ever-increasing complexity and speed of innovation? How can they match with continuously changing tastes and styles, with societal and technological influences all over the globe?

Virtualisation is a key enabler to cope with these challenges. Creating innovation by means of an immersive digital model allows designers to imagine a holistic user experience. Dynamic, three-dimensional views very close to reality help them conceive the physical and emotional outcome of their designs. Moreover, they can even invite the future users to validate the experience at very early stages, and they can incorporate the feedback from these “virtual clinic” multitudes faster than in a physical design environment.

Dassault Systemes My Car Experience - Industry Solution Experience

Dassault Systèmes has recently launched “My Car Experience”, a digital platform for designers on which they can imagine vehicles and “virtual universes” for creating mobility innovation. Along with the 3D-environment, process and data management, this collaborative platform provides capability for “social listening and collaboration”.

Seeking perfection by means of virtual universes will certainly be a key enabler for creating the future of mobility, but in my view nothing can replace some key events in the real world – like the FAI is one – when designers, their creations and the judging client meet for a unique and unrepeatable moment in life.

  • What do you think about designing the future of mobility?
  • How do you think virtual universes can help on this endeavour?

I am looking forward to your comments!  :-)

Neno HorvatNeno Horvat is a member of the Transportation&Mobility Industry team.

Consumer products go on a diet, getting lighter and stronger

By Paul

Have you noticed that your new tennis racket or softball bat is lighter and easier to swing, yet stronger than your old one?  Maybe your new sports car hugs the road tighter than before but has even better safety ratings and fuel efficiency than the older model?

If you’ve recognized these things already, you’re probably using new-age composites.

Carbon fiber composites are having a wide-reaching effect on many industries, from automotive to office furniture.  The desk chair above, made from composite materials, was designed in Dassault Systèmes’ SolidWorks.

Composite materials, where two or more constituent materials are fused together, have been in use for a very long time.  Plywood, where wood is glued at different angles to give it more desirable properties than natural wood, is one of the earliest examples. However, the technology to create these materials has taken a giant leap forward, enabling fiber-reinforced composites and more specifically carbon-fiber composites.  This is revolutionizing product design in a number of different industries and dramatically improving the experience for end users.

The transportation and mobility industry is one of the biggest beneficiaries of carbon-fiber composites because the material is stronger and lighter than the steel and sheet metal that’s currently used in trains, planes and automobiles, and takes away any risk of corrosion.  To see how impactful these things can be, take a car for example.  Strong yet lightweight composites can improve safety and fuel economy at the same time, which is a pretty big deal in the face of government regulations and a global energy crunch.  Using lightweight composites on the roof of a car also lowers the center of gravity for a more exhilarating driving experience, while maintaining structural integrity.

Composites are different than traditional materials because you actually design material that is optimized for an intended purpose.  This is much different than working with sheet metal where the material is simply cut or shaped to fit a design.  With composites, material is designed to meet the needs of specific parts – from the frame of a car, to its hood, roof or bumper.  However, this also adds a level of complexity to product design, which is why an integrated environment – like Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, where design, simulation and manufacturing procedures can all be performed – is a major benefit.  Without an integrated platform, a manual translation must be performed between each stage, greatly increasing the chance of errors and the potential to waste time and materials.


Plasan’s Jim Staargaard easily lifts the roof of a 2013 SRT Viper. Lightweight carbon fiber body panels helped cut 100 lbs. from previous models of the car.

Plasan Carbon Composites provides a great example of a company delivering on the value of composites through its use of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.  The company supplies parts for leading automotive OEMS worldwide, including hoods, roofs and fenders for the Chevy Corvette and Dodge Viper.  To further extend the benefits of composites, Plasan is also leading the charge to bring carbon-fiber frames and sub-structure components to the automotive industry.

While helping OEMs achieve their goals of sustainability and better fuel economy, Plasan is also practicing sustainable innovation itself.  Using the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, the company has eliminated trial-and-error for “right-first-time” designs and fewer physical prototypes, reduced power usage through an innovative new curing process, and reduced the number of plies in a part design for higher quality and improved performance.

Car and Driver magazine reviewed the 2013 SRT Viper and notes the impact of composite materials about 40 seconds into the following video:

YouTube Preview Image

Paul Di Laura is Vice President, Value Solutions for North America

Bosch Improves Engineering Coordination to Achieve Product Leadership

By Eric

You could say the library is the brain of our development. All the information our developers need for their work is stored centrally, so they know, for instance, whether they can use a component for a new development or when it has been discontinued

explains Lutz Napiwotzky, responsible for Engineering Applications Corporate IT at Bosch.

When the Bosch Group’s Automotive Technology Division, one of the world’s leading suppliers to the automotive industry, analyzed their development processes, they quickly identified areas for improvement, including consistent data management. Each division structured data differently and stored it in different systems. As a result, tasks like tracing component use were inefficient and sometimes impossible. The company really wanted to increase the efficiency of these processes by simplifying and standardizing them. The only solution for Bosch was to install a component supplier management solution.

After implementing Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform Bosch engineers understand exactly which components were installed in which devices, including all configuration and material information. In particular, the component library structuring and versioning capabilities bring significant value to the Stuttgart-based company.

If you would like to know more, please read the full customer case.

 



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.